Startup Garage idea board

STRAMGT 356/366: Startup Garage Course Details

Startup Garage is an intensive, hands-on, project-based course in which students design and test new business concepts that address real-world needs.

During the course, you will learn to apply design thinking and lean startup methodologies to design, test, and build a venture. In teams of 2–5 people you will first get out of the classroom and interact with users to deeply understand an unmet need, and then design, prototype, and test a novel product or service, and finally develop a viable business model and company creation plan to launch your venture.

Teams will learn skills critical to developing and launching new products, building ventures, and evaluating the viability of early stage ventures. The class is well suited for teams at various stages in the venture design process, including those who are pre-idea and for teams considering for-profit, nonprofit, and social venture ideas.

You will be supported and coached by a team of world-class faculty, including founders and early executives of ZenDesk, Task Rabbit, Baby Center, Shutterfly, Shopkick, eLoan, Netscape, and MSN, as well as VC and angel investors.

By the end of the two quarters, teams will have the opportunity to:

  • Get out of the building and interact with users, advisors, investors, and partners to develop a deep understanding of the challenges they face, to field-test their proposed services, products, and business models, and to gather data
  • Interpret the data and make important startup decisions in the context of their own project: pivot, persevere, or perish
  • Develop creative go-to-market strategies and test their effectiveness
  • Develop and deliver in front of real investors an investor pitch, elevator pitch, and executive summary
  • Negotiate term sheets with venture investors
  • Develop a hiring plan for their first year of operation and consider equity and other compensation plans

The innovation process we teach, as well as the techniques and skills you will learn, can be applied as problem-solving skills outside of venture creation. Nonetheless, many companies have been founded out of the Startup Garage course. Recent examples include DoorDash, Bipsync, DogHero, ClearMetal, MindRight, TalkingPoints and Boom Fantasy.

Startup Garage Courses

S356 - Startup Garage: Design / Fall Quarter 2018

Location: The NGP CoLab at Stanford GSB
Days and times TBD.
You can also register S356 as BIOE 376

Collaborative, multidisciplinary teams will identify and work with users, domain experts, and industry participants to identify and deeply understand customer needs and design products/services and business models to address those needs.

Each team will conceive, design, build, and field-test critical aspects of both the product or service and the business model. S356 integrates methods from human-centered design, lean startup, and business model planning.

The course focuses on developing entrepreneurial skills (using short lectures and in-class exercises) and applying those skills to specific problems faced by those users identified by the teams. Teams will get out of the building and interact directly with users and advisors to develop a deep understanding of the challenges they face and to field-test their proposed services/products and business models.

S366 - Startup Garage: Testing and Launch / Winter Quarter 2019

Location: The NGP CoLab at Stanford GSB
Days and times TBD.

You can also register S366 as BIOE 377

Teams that conclude the fall quarter with promising products/services and business models continue with S366, the winter-quarter course, where they iterate on their product or service prototypes and business models, and execute experiments to test key hypotheses.

During the quarter, teams engage in a robust venture-creation process that involves development and validation of a series of hypotheses about a new product or service, its value proposition, and how the business will acquire customers and partners, scale, and raise funds to achieve the key milestones to profitability or sustainability.

Who Should Apply

No previous industry or entrepreneurship experience is required. Startup Garage welcomes graduate students from all Stanford University schools and departments including Humanities & Sciences, Business, Education, Engineering, Law, Medicine (medical students, residents, fellows, postdocs), and all other graduate students.

Teaching Team
Stefanos   Zenios
Professor, Operations, Information & Technology
David Martin Hornik
Lecturer, Political Economy
Bob Lisbonne
Lecturer, Organizational Behavior
Russell Siegelman
Lecturer, Organizational Behavior
Donald Wood
Lecturer, Accounting